Some heroes don’t wear capes. Sometimes they are just ordinary human beings who transcend to the extraordinary when the situation demands so. The tragedy of the Kamala Mills fire has, along with tragic loss of lives, given us a real life hero in constable Sudarshan Shinde who risked his life to save three people from the fire by climbing seven floors each time.
The whole of Mumbai, and even the whole of India, woke up on the morning of Friday, the 29th of December, to the numbing news of a huge fire having broken out in Kamala Mills, considered to be the heart of Mumbai’s nightlife, around 12:30 am, taking the lives of fourteen people.
The fire originated in the pub and hookah bar “1Above”. Sudarshan Shinde along with his colleagues were among the first constables to reach the affected site. One photo of him coming out of the burnt complex with a woman on his shoulder has been doing a lot of rounds in social media. Later, it was found out he had foregone personal safety for the sake of the people trapped inside the building. He climbed seven floors each time to save three people from the burning Kamala Mills.
In Shinde’s words, “When I reached upstairs, everything was burnt and charred. When I reached down, I could hear exploding sounds. Which I feel were of alcohol bottles and gas cylinders. There were several hookahs that added to the intensity of the flames. I could see only one woman coughing. The rest, I believe, may have died of suffocation.”
The courage shown by the brave constable in the face of adversity is heroic in all aspects. We should always be grateful to such heroic and brave sons of India, without whose presence more people would have had to lose their lives. We salute you Sir!